The Three Musketeers Movie Poster Image

The Three Musketeers

Swashbuckler for tweens has tons of action but no heart.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 110 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The "all for one/one for all" message is a good lesson in unity and teamwork, and the Musketeers all look for a cause to take up as their fight.

Positive role models

Athos encourages D'Artagnan to fight for love, but otherwise the Three Musketeers are brave but morally ambiguous figures. At one point Athos says he only believes in the coin and the sword. Aramis is a man of faith, and Porthos is a brawler who likes to drink and womanize.


Lots of sword and musket fights leave a few characters dead, but there's no blood. One character looks like she's falling to her death; a villain is felled by a sword wound after a long duel; two flying ships battle with cannons and then switch to hand-to-hand combat between crew members.


A few kisses and some heavy flirting, as well as some cleavage-popping period dresses.


Relatively infrequent language includes "s--t," "damn," "hell," "ass," "bleeding," "t-t," and "oh God" (as an exclamation).

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The Musketeers drink often in their leisure time; Porthos, in particular, is a big drinker.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' classic novel is packed with over-the-top action sequences of sword and musket battles, but there's no blood and most characters (save a few) escape fatal injury. The language is limited to "s--t," "damn," "bleeding," and "t-t" (those last two being British slang), and the sexuality includes corset-popping dresses, a few kisses, and some overt flirting. Although this is a classic tale, it's worth remembering that the Three Musketeers are courageous but flawed characters and that the moral of love above duty and country is a somewhat mixed message.

What's the story?

Penniless country boy D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman) travels to Paris to find the Musketeers -- angry Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), brawny Porthos (Ray Stevenson), and philosophical Aramis (Luke Evans). After a brush with Cardinal Richelieu's guards -- led by the villainous Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen) -- D'Artagnan joins forces with the Musketeers, who are wanted by the scheming Richelieu (Christoph Waltz). The cardinal enlists manipulative mercenary Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich) to make King Louis XIII (Freddie Fox) believe that Queen Anne (Juno Temple) is cheating on him with Duke Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) so that the young French monarch will declare war on England. But the Musketeers and D'Artagnan discover the plot and attempt to stop the cardinal from succeeding.

Is it any good?


For an epic swashbuckler, this classic adventure is disappointing and downright soporific. The extravagant set pieces may be grand and the air ships quite cool, but otherwise there's no oomph to this unnecessary adaptation. Despite the decent cast and all the rapid-fire editing of the fight sequences, the story doesn't come to life, and the actors just seem to be dialing in their performances. With all the blossoming romance between D'Artagnan and Constance and the king and queen, it's clear that the movie is actually made for action-loving boys and lovesick girls who won't care about the big picture.


Mikkelsen and Waltz, both of whom must be bored playing baddies at this point in their careers, need to find roles that don't typecast them as villains. The impressive spark from Lerman's performance in 3:10 to Yuma has been replaced by the smirk of a pretty young actor who's coasting on his good looks. As for the Three Musketeers themselves, they're forgettable and underdeveloped, a tragic combination for some of literature's most interesting warriors. Ultimately, this is a skippable movie that insults audiences with a cliffhanger ending that all but begs for a sequel. May the studio have enough sense to let this particular Musketeer adventure end.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence and how it's portrayed. Is it casual and humorous or necessary and serious?

  • How does this adaptation differ from previous adaptations of The Three Musketeers?

  • Do you agree with Athos' advice to D'Artagnan to forget about king and country and save the woman he loves?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 21, 2011
DVD/Streaming release date:March 13, 2012
Cast:Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich, Orlando Bloom
Director:Paul W.S. Anderson
Studio:Summit Entertainment
Run time:110 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of adventure action violence

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Parent of a 7 year old Written byProud Dad October 31, 2011

Know your child's sensitivities

My 8 year old loved it and my wife and I were pleasantly surprised how well it was done. Other than a few bad words it was no different than watching any Star Wars lightsaber duel or ship to ship battles. If your child is sensitive to fight scenes then this is not for them because there is a lot of sword play. There is some blood shown toward the end, but not in a gory or gruesome manner. I'm sure that my son will insist that we own the DVD when it is released, of course with his money.
Educator Written bymilowicki1 October 24, 2011


just. wrong
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 16 years old Written byRubySlippers9 October 27, 2011

Despite what everyone else is saying...

I think it's fine for kid's at least in middle school- I don't know what the people below were watching but it wasn't bad at all. There is hardly any kissing- but with the exception of quick alcohol consumption. If your kid isn't scared of a little fighting (not really any blood except shallow cuts from swords) then they should be fine.